Join us for Pyramid’s FUNctional behavior Conference on April 26th and 27th, 2021! Our international team of behavior analysts, led by Andy Bondy, PhD, the developer of The Pyramid Approach to Education® and co-developer of PECS®, have created short talks that include a broad range of practical information related to the field of behavior analysis.

Day one will focus on information related to behavior analysis and communication. Dr. Bondy will commence the conference with a presentation related to the myths associated with BF Skinner’s book, Verbal behavior, including definitions of Skinner’s verbal operants that can be applied to communication planning. Another presentation will focus on creating energizing and calming activities as a means to increase communication and decrease unwanted behaviors. In addition, one session will review ethical considerations for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) implementation and discuss socially significant interventions using a collaborative team approach.

The second conference day focuses on aspects of program development. The conference will begin with a presentation on the Pyramid Approach to Education, as applied across learners of varying ages and abilities. Elements from the newly revised Pyramid Classroom Certification Checklist will be shared with practical examples provided. Another session will specifically address transition difficulties that occur with programming for adolescent learners. A third session looks at the fidelity and validity of teleservice by reviewing the BACB supervision guidelines. Throughout each of these talks, we will discuss how the behavior analyst can use the principles of our applied science to facilitate successful programming across a variety of settings and ages.


What you will learn:

  • Identify how the analysis of verbal operants is used to expand communication opportunities
  • Review the ethical issues associated with AAC implementation from a behavioral perspective
  • Identify how a behavioral framework, The Pyramid Approach, is applied to all team members in educational settings
  • Identify behavioral guidelines for supervision of teleservice provision
Day 1: behavior Analysis and Communication

Verbal behavior: Myths and Misconceptions

(120 Minutes)

Presenter and Disclosures: Andy Bondy, PhD

Description: Skinner wrote the book Verbal behavior in 1957. It offers an analytic tool based upon the principles of operant behavior involving communication and language. Although the book offers no data or how-to section many people claim to offer an approach based upon verbal behavior. We will question whether the strategies of such approaches reflect the contents of the book. We will suggest that a review of multiple controlled verbal operants can lead to the creation of new lessons. Additionally, several controversial topics including stimulus vs. topographical distinctions, attributes, autoclitics, using tacts or intraverbals using picture-based systems, and other issues based upon both the analysis within the book and logic will be reviewed.

Participants will:
  • Describe how assessing multiple controlled verbal operants can yield new lesson plans
  • Describe under what conditions pictures can be used to engage in tacts or intraverbals
  • Describe how autoclitic frames influence the sentence structure within the PECS protocol

Using Energizing and Calming Activities to Expand Communication

(60 minutes)

Presenters and Disclosures: Eftychia Arabisoglou, MSc; Jesseca Collins, M.Ed., BCBA; Anne Overcash, M.Ed.; Andy Bondy, PhD

Description: The Pyramid Approach to Education® integrates teaching strategies and enhances opportunities for communication across activities. This talk will focus on creating and implementing energizing and calming activities. Benefits of these activities include developing functional alternatives for challenging behaviors. We will highlight how to guide caregivers to develop and teach these activities. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the behavior analyst in encouraging communication opportunities regarding energizing and calming activities.

Participants will:
  • State the benefits of organizing communication opportunities for both energizing and calming activities
  • Describe expressive and receptive skills associated with energizing and calming activities
  • Identify a variety of energizing and calming activities
  • Outline the role of the behavior Analyst in developing and promoting these skills

Prioritizing Ethics in AAC Implementation

(60 minutes)

Presenters and Disclosures: Jesseca Collins, M.Ed., BACB; Aneta Widulinska; Magdalena Kaźmierczak, MA; Catherine Horton, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA

Description: There is an overwhelming number of implementation considerations for our learners using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Systems. behavior analysts must collaborate with other professionals and make informed recommendations, all while maintaining compliance with the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code. This presentation will review device programming, feature matching and effective teaching of omnibus mands. In addition, considerations for reinforcement of speech as compared with other communication modalities will be explored. Relevance to the Code, as well as ethical decision-making, will be presented regarding each topic.


Participants will:
  • Review ethical codes from various professions to identify similarities and differences in relation to the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code
  • Identify ethical dilemmas and discuss socially significant interventions in AAC using a collaborative team approach
  • Using an ethical framework, identify, teach, and reinforce increasingly complex utterances independent of modality

Conference DETAILS: Day 1

Date: Monday, April 26, 2021
Agenda: 10:00am- 2:30pm ET (NYC time)
Check-in Time: 9:45am- 10:00am ET (NYC time)
Optional Round Table: 2:35pm- 3:15pm ET (NYC time)
CEUs: 3.0 BCBA CEUs (Learning); 1.0 BCBA CEUs (Ethics) Synchronous
Cost: $69.00 USD for Day 1 only/ $125.00 USD for both Day 1 & Day 2
Tuition Includes: Detailed Handouts with space for note taking, Certificate of Attendance, BACB CEUs are available

Day 2: behavior Analysis and Program Development

Pyramid Certified Classrooms: School-Age and Beyond

(120 minutes)

Presenter and Disclosures: Tony Castrogiovanni, PhD; Jaime Wedel M.Ed., CAGS, BCBA; Catherine Horton, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA

Description: The Pyramid Approach to Education® is an effective model of teaching that establishes meaningful educational environments for all learners. We will broaden these concepts to explore implementation in a variety of settings across ability levels. Following a brief overview of this model, an intensive certification process, known as Pyramid Certified Classrooms (PCC), will be explored. This model includes training and consultation regarding implementation of all Pyramid elements. Sample checklist items from the newly revised Checklist will be described, with examples provided across ages and ability levels. Participants will have the opportunity for active participation and self-assessment of their own implementation skills. The presentation will conclude with a review of data reflecting classroom changes that were completed from educational settings around the globe.

Participants will:
  • State the elements of the Pyramid Approach to Education
  • Apply the elements of the PCC Checklist to their current settings
  • Generalize PCC elements across settings and ages

Lost in Transition: Considerations for Working with Adolescents with ASD

(60 minutes)

Presenters and Disclosures: Jesseca Collins, M.Ed., BCBA, Grace Payne MSc (non-presenter); Jaime Wedel M.Ed., CAGS, BCBA; Donna Banzhof, M.Ed., BCBA, Keiko Suzuki, M.Ed., PhD, BCBA

Description: Treatment goals that are set for the individuals we work with often vary depending on, their age, ‘ability’ and who creates their goals. As learners develop, their skill sets expand and evolve creating the need to reassess these goals. This talk looks at the challenges transitioning presents from one age to the next and discusses planning for teaching functional skills. We will also look at how behavior analysts can use the principles of our applied science to define, apply, and facilitate success across variable settings encountered in adolescence.

Participants will:
  • Define the population, and challenges for achieving independence
  • Identify role of the behavior analyst within the adolescent population in transition
  • Evaluate social significance of skills and provide examples of functional lessons

Teleservice: Assessment, Strategies, and Evaluation

(60 minutes)

Presenters and Disclosures: Tony Castrogiovanni, PhD; Keiko Suzuki, M.Ed., PhD, BCBA; Grace Payne MSc (non-presenter); Donna Banzhof, M.Ed., BCBA

Description: What started off as a reactive strategy to a pandemic, is now clearly going to be an active part of our work lives. The question is how do we uphold professional standards within a joint online and direct consultation model? This talk will look at how we can apply the BCBA supervision guidelines responsibly and ethically to the multitude of new relationships and goals that are now open to us.


Participants will:
  • Use a framework to identify strategies during teleservice
  • Identify relationships with caregivers and others
  • Evaluate program integrity including supervisor, supervisee, caregivers and clients

Conference DETAILS: Day 2

Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Agenda: 10:00am- 2:30pm ET (NYC time)
Check-in Time: 9:45am- 10:00am ET (NYC time)
Optional Round Table: 2:35pm- 3:15pm ET (NYC time)
CEUs: 3.0 BCBA CEUs (Learning); 1.0 BCBA CEUs (Supervision) Synchronous
Cost: $69.00 USD for Day 2 only/ $125.00 USD for both Day 1 & Day 2
Tuition Includes: Detailed Handouts with space for note taking, Certificate of Attendance, BACB CEUs are available



Pyramid Educational Consultants is an approved BACB ACE Provider for Learning (Type 2) Continuing Education Credits. The BACB does not warrant, endorse, sponsor, approve, or partner with the event, organization, or instructor.


Register for the Conference

Day 1 Only Day 2 Only Day 1 & 2 Combined